HIS MASTER'S VOICE
An autumn afternoon,
a country church more than half-full,
old-time musicians, jazz in their bones getting re-acquainted,
The family enters
sits in the front pew
their shaggy dog, head on paws, at their feet
and the funeral ritual begins, hymns, eulogy,
the Lord's prayer.
To finish, a recording,
Tiny strumming his banjo,
singing a jazz number. The dog's ears prick up
and he howls, an eerie out-of-this-world wail
full of desperate longing.